Bombs rained down on rebel-held eastern Aleppo for a second straight day Wednesday, pounding a district that houses several medical facilities, including the central blood bank, and forcing Syrian staff and patients in the only remaining pediatric hospital to cower in a basement as buildings collapsed around them.
The World Health Organization (WHO) condemned recent attacks on three other hospitals in a rural area west of Aleppo city and two in Idlib province in which at least two people were reportedly killed and 19 people wounded.
The resumption of airstrikes on besieged Aleppo began Tuesday as Russian Federation announced its much-anticipated offensive in Syria's north and central Homs province.
Regime and Russian jets carried out about 40 strikes on the al-Shaar and Salaheddine districts, Ibrahim al-Haj of the White Helmets rescue group in eastern Aleppo said.
He said Secretary of State John Kerry was continuing to work "doggedly" to try to bring the warring factions together to end the crisis, but admitted it had achieved little thus far.
On Thursday, a Kremlin aide said that Moscow saw a possibility to improve joint efforts over Syria with Trump, Russian state broadcaster Tass reported.
It quoted the hospital's director, Dr Hatem, as saying he was trapped in the basement. "We will try to get out when the airstrikes leave our sky".
Konashenkov said on Thursday that Russian intelligence reports have confirmed that three prominent leaders of the al-Qaida branch Muhammad Helala, Abu Jaber Harmuja and Abul Baha Al-Asfari were among those killed.
"The helicopters won't stop for a single moment", spokesman Bebars Mishal told the Reuters news agency. "Right now, the bombing won't let up".
Activists in Batbo village posted the names of the 18 online after Wednesday's airstrike.
Sergei Shoigu said in a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday that the operation involves aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which made a much-publicized trip from Russian Federation to Syria's shores last month.
Syria's grinding five-year conflict has devastated Aleppo, divided between government-controlled areas in the west and rebel positions in the east.
On 22 September, two weeks after encircling the east and imposing a siege on its 275,000 residents, they launched an all-out offensive to take full control of the city.
One of the air strikes targeted a civil defence centre in the Bab al-Nayrab neighbourhood with no reported casualties, the correspondent said.
Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests - which erupted as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings - with unexpected ferocity.
France's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Francois Delattre, today accused the Syrian regime of President Bashar Al-Assad and their allies of failing to adhere to global and humanitarian law in Aleppo, adding that they were "feeding terrorism" in Syria.